August 11th, 2011


[links] Link salad goes high tech

What It's Like Being a Writer

Jordan Plans Green Star Trek Theme Park — Juan Cole on, among other things, science fiction as an international literature. He buried the lede, this piece covers more ground than the headline implies.

Positions of Satellites Around Earth — (Snurched from APOD.)

Three Dwarf-Planet Candidates Found at Solar System’s Edge

Neutrons Become Cubes Inside Neutron Stars — Hip to be square.

Evidence of ancient supercontinent found — Texas and Antarctica sitting in a tree...

Yeast provide clues to evolution of complex lifeSingle-celled life may have transformed into multicell forms to make most of resources.

Ice Cream — And the history thereof. (Snurched from Language Log.)

Alan Moore stands up for Bradley Manning — Ah, moral clarity.

Four Good Reasons Not to Read the Bible Literally — I'm a big fan of intellectual consistency, myself. Which I don't happen to think is inherently incompatible with faith.

ABA urges Congress to reject birthright law — Ok, why is the American Bar Association having their annual meeting in Toronto?

'The Queen of Rage' — Ta-Nehisi Coates on Newsweek's Bachmann cover. As intensely as I dislike her and everything she stands for, that cover photo is a cheap shot and unworthy. The woman fails comprehensively on the merits of her policy positions, there's no need to mock her.

Bachmann: Tea Party QueenWhy Michele Bachmann is riding high going into Iowa. Fundamentally, because she offers comfortable, easy answers to complex questions. Useless answers, as conservative desires nothwithstanding, the real world does do nuance. But it's what scared people want to hear. Being angry is easier than thinking things through, or taking responsibility.

Romney and Mormonism — Of all the reasons to oppose a Romney presidency, being alarmed that he's a Mormon is just idiotic. We have this little thing called the First Amendment, which the strict constructionists on the Right love to forget about when it comes to privileging their pet religions.

?otD: Candy?

Writing time yesterday: 1.5 hours (3,000 words on Sunspin)
Body movement: 30 minutes stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (fitful)
Weight: 226.4
Currently reading: A Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik


[cancer] The mental fight

Physiologically speaking, I’m actually feeling pretty good these days (taking everything in context). It won’t last because chemo restarts two weeks from tomorrow, but I’ll take what I can get.

However, while this is a respite from the physical horrors and stress of chemotherapy and surgery, it’s allowing me more time for my anxieties and emotional stresses to manifest. As my therapist has commented, I have an amazing degree of equilibrium and positivity, given all that I’ve been through in the past few years. Still, the fears of cancer gnaw at me and sometimes the gnawing grows too loud for me to ignore.

At the moment my worrying mind is back on the question of when, if ever, I’ll have the social and emotional energy to build another strong central relationship in my life. This isn’t me catastrophizing or running to the negative. There’s essentially an even chance I’l never be healthy again, I’ll just go from sick to sicker until I die of this fucking cancer.

At the same time, I’m doing everything in my power (and in the power of my oncologists) to direct my health toward a better outcome. It does me no good, in either a micro sense or a macro sense, to dwell on what I have already lost or might yet lose in this life.

So the mental fight isn’t to banish inner demons or turn away from negative illusions. (I’ve had those fights at times in my past.) It’s to stare the reality of my life in the face and carry on with strength, love and positivity regardless.

Cancer changes one. Profoundly. One of the biggest changes for me has been my sense of a lost future. I will probably spend the rest of my life living in the eternal now, whether that’s two more years or forty-two more years.

There are worse fates, and I’ve learned a lot, but the tuition has been too damned high.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.